And exactly what most recently has the US Supreme Court said about the First Amendment.
Inquiring minds want to know. Is the ARDC right? Has the First Amendment been removed from the US Constitution with the passage of the Patriot Act, HIPPA, Obama Health Care, etc.?
Guess not Virginia, please read on:
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants:
No. 08–1448. | Argued Nov. 2, 2010. | Decided June 27, 2011.
Background: Associations of companies that create, publish, distribute, sell and/or rent video games brought declaratory judgment against state under the First and Fourteenth Amendments seeking to invalidate newly-enacted law imposing restrictions and labeling requirements on the sale or rental of “violent video games” to minors. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Ronald M. Whyte, J., 2007 WL 2261546, granted associations’ motion for summary judgment, permanently enjoining enforcement of the law. State appealed.
Holdings: The Supreme Court, Justice Scalia, held that:
 video games qualify for First Amendment protection;
 while there are limited exceptions to prohibition against content-based governmental restrictions on expression, for obscenity, incitement and fighting words, new categories of unprotected speech may not be added; and
 California failed to satisfy burden of showing either that the law was justified by compelling government interest, or that law, which was both over-and underinclusive, was narrowly drawn to serve that interest.
[Looky here–video games are protected by the First Amendment–but NOT the blogs of lawyers? Hmm. Interesting]
While the Free Speech Clause exists principally to protect discourse on public matters, it is difficult to distinguish politics from entertainment, and dangerous to try.
Under the Constitution, aesthetic and moral judgments about art and literature are for individual to make, not for government to decree, even with mandate or approval of majority.
Whatever the challenges of applying the Constitution to ever-advancing technology, basic principles of freedom of speech and press, like the First Amendment’s command, do not vary when new and different medium for communication appears.
As general matter, government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content
[And when the government does, we will have truly arrived at a police state no better than Burma (Mayanmar)]
While there are limited exceptions to prohibition against content-based governmental restrictions on expression, for obscenity, incitement and fighting words, new categories of unprotected speech may not be added to the list by legislature which concludes that certain speech is too harmful to be tolerated
Without persuasive evidence that novel restriction on content is part of long, if heretofore unrecognized, tradition of proscription, legislature may not revise judgment of the American people, embodied in First Amendment, that the benefits of the Amendment’s restrictions on government outweigh the costs
Minors are entitled to significant measure of First Amendment protection, and only in relatively narrow and well-defined circumstances may government bar public dissemination of protected materials to them.
[Great–even children get better protections under the First Amendment than lawyers? Get out my toddler dress! I have dolls in my office, really, does that count?]
[oh oh, I think this was written for the ARDC]
Disgust is not valid basis for restricting expression.
California law prohibiting the sale or rental of “violent video games” to minors, as restriction upon content of protected speech, was invalid under the First Amendment unless California could demonstrate that it passed strict scrutiny, i.e., that the law was justified by compelling government interest and was narrowly drawn to serve that interest; state had to specifically identify an actual problem in need of solving, and the curtailment of free speech had to be actually necessary to the solution.
[my comment: does that mean that the ARDC must first come up with an actual problem in need of solving with my speech before it can prohibit it? Exactly what would that problem be? I am annoying? Irreverent? I can’t say I’m shocking compared with Dishnetwork or Cable TV–that’s a whole other level, I’m sure]
It is rare that a regulation restricting speech because of its content will ever be permissible under the First Amendment.
[Has the ARDC reallio trulio found that elusive rare occurrence to control the content of my speech?]
On First Amendment challenge to California law that restricted speech based on its content, by prohibiting the sale or rental of “violent video games” to minors, California failed to satisfy burden of showing either that the law was justified by compelling government interest, given lack of evidence of any direct causal relationship, as opposed to correlation, between exposure to violent video games and violence by minors, or that law, which was both over-and underinclusive, was narrowly drawn to serve that interest.
[I’m still trying to figure out what, if anything, the ARDC can control or what problem might be solved by controlling the content of my speech on a blog that is regarding corruption in the Illinois courts? It has been made very elusive to me. Further, exactly what did attorney Ken Ditkowsky do by deserving a “misconduct” finding by the ARDC hearing panel when all he did was engage primarily in first amendment protected speech? Did he betray a client confidence? Did he steal money? Did he forget to go to court? Write a brief or pleading for a client? WHAT DID HE DO? Oh, that’s right, he wrote a letter trying to investigate a PROBATE CASE that appeared to be corrupt. Then, he talked about corruption on MY BLOG. Seems protected to me, according to this case.
What right does the ARDC have to discipline either myself or him for any of that?
I am disgusted by all of this.]
The most basic principle—that government lacks the power to restrict expression because of its message, ideas, subject matter, or content, Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 535 U.S. 564, 573, 122 S.Ct. 1700, 152 L.Ed.2d 771—is subject to a few limited exceptions for historically unprotected speech, such as obscenity, incitement, and fighting words. But a legislature cannot create new categories of unprotected speech simply by weighing the value of a particular category against its social costs and then punishing it if it fails the test.
[Why does not the ARDC understand “the most basic principle” of content based speech. Inquiring minds want to know.]
Because the Act imposes a restriction on the content of protected speech, it is invalid unless California can demonstrate that it passes strict scrutiny, i.e., it is justified by a compelling government interest and is narrowly drawn to serve that interest.
***** end of case quotes.****
This case then launches into a very long and detailed history of obscenity, regulating the content of speech and ends with the proposition that the state has almost no interest in regulating speech. I am sure you can google the case to see the entire case on the internet.
It’s a great case–full of great quotes, and thank you Attorney Ditkowsky for bringing this to my attention.
I never thought I would have to read all of these first amendment cases to protect myself, and more particularly, to protect myself from the likes of the ARDC.
I think it’s pretty scary that ARDC attys Jerome Larkin (the “administrator”), Sharon Opryszek and Jessica Haspel file such trash when they should know that my speech is protected.
Unless they support the proposition that children have better first amendment rights that lawyers.
That is the proposition they are supporting, correct?
In any case, I have a “pretrial” conference with the ARDC tomorrow.
I will let you know how it goes.
I am a lawyer blogger and I TELL THE TRUTH. For too long, the courts, the ARDC and your (crazy) lawyer have operated in secrecy. Those days are over.
I struggle every day. I try to help clients that are poor in horrible situations. I try to do it and not beg for money. But it seems every day now is a day I beg for money. For clients to pay a small portion of their bill.
It’s hard, it’s tiring. I have no idea what happens tomorrow.
I am dedicated to telling you all the truth.
I am dedicated to helping those in legal need and I try not to turn people away.
I have not totally figured out how to do this every day, but what there is that holds me up is faith.
So my question today to you all is, SCOTUS has decided that children have a ton of first Amendment rights to play video games–you know the ones advertised on the side of buses in Chicago that allow you to gain points (stolen money), hold up a 7 – 11, then go to the alley, rape and beat up a hooker (come on, you KNOW the name of this game), shoot cops and kill them for more points, but lawyers can’t run a blog speaking out against corruption in the state courts of Illinois?
Can someone PLEASE explain this to me?
And Ken, if you have no idea what game I am referring to, I will explain it to you someday when you are old enough.